A distinctive apprenticeship initiative has successfully united local employers with young individuals, creating valuable career prospects in the realms of sports, health, and well-being.

This program has facilitated the placement of 35 participants into gainful employment.

Rise, a local charity that tackles inequalities in communities across Northumberland and Tyne and Wear is the delivery partner for Coach Core, a nationwide apprenticeship initiative targeting 16 to 24-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training.

Working with employers in the sports and physical activity sector, Coach Core delivers an inclusive and impactful sports coaching apprenticeship that develops the talents of young people and provides them with a range of vital skills for sport, work and life.

The three-year programme which launched in 2019 with a total investment of £240,000 runs on a 15-month cycle. It helps learners to achieve either Level 2 Community Activator Coach or a Level 3 Community Sports Health Officer qualification.

Sunderland Community Acton Group (SCAG) has employed two Coach Core apprentices.

Richy Duggan, SCAG project manager, is a big believer in the programme. He said: “We want to help people develop in the communities we work in, particularly young people who may have struggled in traditional educational settings.

“Helping young people achieve their potential gives us a real sense of pride and we thought Coach Core was another fantastic option to help us achieve this ambition.”

Rise currently works with 16 local employers to provide training pathways for young people, they include Newcastle Falcons, National Trust, Northumberland Cricket Board, Sports Works, Circus Central and the Newcastle United Foundation.

Nathan Mcmurrough, age 19, from Hendon, recently completed his apprenticeship with SCAG and is now a full-time member of staff.

Describing his experience, he said: “I left school after Year 11 and took the opportunity to get involved with Coach Core, it’s been one of the best things I’ve done in my life.

“I didn’t do very well at school, but I’ve known SCAG for a long time and was very keen to do the apprenticeship with them. I feel that the apprenticeship has really benefitted me. My coaching skills have improved massively, and I feel I’ve also developed a lot as a person during my training.”

Like all apprenticeships, each participant is on a 30-hour week paid placement, 80 per cent of their time is within the workforce assisting and running coaching sessions, working on office admin and other appropriate tasks. The remaining 20 per cent of the time, which is typically one day per week, is spent in education working with their tutor towards their apprenticeship qualifications.

“It’s been great to see Nathan’s development, he’s really shining for us now. When he started, he needed guidance, and he was lucky to benefit from the support offered by Coach Core. We’ve seen him progress and he’s keen to access other opportunities that we provide. He’s now a full-time employee at SCAG and we look forward to seeing him progress further in the future.

“I want to leave SCAG in safe hands in the future. I’ve got some fantastic, bright, young individuals who come from our city who want to push their communities forward and I want to help them realise their full potential,” added Duggan.

Rise is preparing to roll out its third Coach Core programme in the autumn, which will see a further 16 apprentices grasp the opportunity to start building the foundations of a successful career.

The programme is proud of its commitment to diversity and inclusion, welcoming apprentices from all backgrounds and providing opportunities for underrepresented groups to thrive in these sectors.

Jack Liddle, empowering people development manager at Rise, explains: “The success of the Coach Core apprentice programme is a testament to the dedication of our apprentices and the unwavering support of our employer partners and mentors.

“Through a combination of mentorship, skills development, and real-world experience, this programme is successfully nurturing the talents and aspirations of our young people, helping them to achieve their full potential. We are thrilled to see the positive impact our apprentices are making in the Northeast, not only in the sports and health sectors but also in the lives of the communities they serve.”

Rise encourages young people who aspire to careers in sport, health, and wellbeing to explore the opportunities offered by the Coach Core Apprentice Programme. As the programme continues to grow and evolve, it remains committed to empowering the next generation of professionals who will contribute to the region’s physical and mental wellness.

For more information about the Rise and the Coach Core Apprentice Programme, please contact Jack Liddle, empowering people development manager at Rise at jack.liddle@rise.co.uk or call: 07944 462 195

Get Sunderland Magazine in your inbox.

* indicates required


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here